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The Newgy Robo-Pong 2050+ is a great digital table tennis robot that offers a lot of features for its price. The digital part means that it can be programmed to do exactly what you want, making it a valuable practice partner.
Newgy is a well-known manufacturer based in the United States that specializes in table tennis robots. They have a lot of different models but the 2050+ is by far the most advanced. Here are some specs from their website:
- Digital precision for ball speed, placement and frequency.
- Selectable randomization controls create a more unpredictable robot.
- Comes with 64 pre-programmed drills for various playing levels. Train strokes, footwork, transitions and other skills.
- Optional advanced use: Included software to create, customize and exchange drills with friends by connecting to a PC. (PC not required for regular operation)
- User-friendly digital control panel in 6 languages.
- Recycling Net System to capture your returns and recycle the balls for non-stop action.
- Available spins: Topspin, backspin, left sidespin, right sidespin, combination spins
- Available shot selection: Push, chop, serve, counter, lob, fast loop
- Head Angle adjustments: From low (serves) to high (lobs)
- Fits all standard ping-pong® tables and conversion top game tables, and is easy to set-up, take down, store and transport. No assembly or tools required.
- Limited one-year warranty. Robots sold from US include 30-day money back guarantee & 5-year service policy.
Digital table tennis robot
This is a great piece of hardware. It comes with a double net already attached, a wired remote control, an instructional DVD and 48 balls, although you will probably want to order another hundred or so to really get the most out of it.
Setting it up is very easy, only taking about 10 minutes and because it folds nicely in a compact package(only weighing 20 pounds) it is also easy to carry.
At around 120 balls a minute, it should be fast enough even for the more advanced players. It features a single head that is capable of producing all types of spin even in combination but you have to manually adjust it between drills.
The remote control is well designed and it allows you to switch easily between the two modes. You can play in normal mode which basically gives you balls in a specific position or randomly by oscillating its head.
In this mode you can change the ball speed and spin, which are linked to each other by the way(the faster the speed the greater the spin and vice versa ), you can change the waiting time between the shots and you can tell it where to throw you the balls(you can choose between the 21 head positions available). All of these options have a randomization option.
Here you have three options. If you select the same position twice (2 and 2 for example) it will only shoot balls in that spot. If you select two different positions, it alternates between them and finally if you choose two different positions but you also switch the random oscillation option on it will randomly shot balls between the two values.
The other mode is called the drill mode and it allows you to train using one of the 64 pre-designed drills. You can choose from beginner drills all the way to expert ones. But rest assured, they are all adjustable so you can set your own speed or how long it will run for.
The coolest thing though, is that you have 32 preset drills that you can change completely(the other 32 are fixed). The remote connects to a computer and you can input the exact order, spin and speed of each shot in the sequence. This really increases the usefulness of the Robo-Pong 2050+ and makes it more similar to a real partner. You can also share the drills with your friends and even download others online.
It also features one of the best recycling netting system in the industry. There are two separate nets one of which is looser to absorb all of the ball’s energy preventing it from bouncing back onto the table. This means that you can continuously train until you run out of breath instead of balls.
While this is indeed an awesome product it does have some weaknesses. The most important one being that because it has only one head, the balls spin and speed are connected. Therefore you cannot practice short backspin receive and you are stuck with fast backspin balls which no one uses in real life.
Unlike other, more expensive robots, you cannot change the spin type in the same drill which really limits the type of exercises you can do. The Amicus robots, for instance, have three separate heads which permit them to basically give you any type of ball, in any order, in any place on the table.
A few users have reported the oscillator head becoming stuck forcing the machine to only send the ball in a single direction. But the awesome customer support has dealt with it swiftly.
Other minor inconveniences include the fact that you have to change the spin type manually by moving the head and that the remote connects to the PC with a PS2 connector, so you will most likely need a USB adaptor.
The robot is not perfect. It definitely has its drawbacks when compared with the Amicus Professional for example, but then again it does cost almost 3 times less. But the Robo-Pong 2050+ is still a great choice when you realize that other cheaper, robots can’t even do half as much.
Used in conjunction with a practice partner or coach it can really help you advance much faster. The normal mode can help you strengthen and perfect your stroke mechanics while the drill mode will improve your footwork and tactics.